Context is important for both people and organizations.
None of us are allowed to move forever through the universe with a myopic vantage point.
This strategy eventually fails — as the broader perspective overtakes us.
One of the most difficult challenges is to see ourselves (and our actions at work) in context. This is a real problem established environments. We can become distracted from our true mission by long-standing biases and mantras, including “this is the way it’s always done”.
When organizations reach this point, functions often express that they cannot work together. To be certain, there is myopia operating. Groups are too close to their own work to see how it affects neighboring functions. Or they simply don’t have the time or inclination to examine what might really be happening.
We often think of clients or customers, but rarely think of how we affect our peers. Most of us do not fully understand the demands placed on the roles that touch our own.
If we took the time to do this — we might see our own actions in context.
Silos hurt all of us.
Start in the right direction.
Great things can follow.
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.
3 thoughts on “Seeing Our Work in Context”
Absolutely! Edgar Schein’s book, “Organizational Culture and Leadership “ discusses it reasonably well. Check it out if you ever want to research it more!
Thanks again for the great content!
That is unfortunate. Funny, I don’t remember reading any in grad school either. However, I believe it is a very human inclination to protect, which must be offset by other organizational traits.
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Silos are such a destructive problem in organizations. Not a lot of research on the negative elements of it – though it is becoming more popularized.